Around the Water Cooler: Winter's Last Stand

Published by Robert S Samuels on March 23, 2011 at 3:11AM
around the water cooler

Bobby Samuels

The snow might’ve belied the fact that yesterday was indeed the beginning of spring. And with the new season, much of the focus of the Ivy League sports scene transitions from the rinks and the courts to the fields and the courses. But, we haven’t quite wrapped up all of the winter sports yet, as one Ancient Eight team has some serious work left to do. So let’s kibitz in another edition of Around the Water Cooler.

Of course, the Princeton men’s basketball team went to the Big Dance after beating Harvard in a one-game playoff. Then, the Tigers got a taste of karma in the first round, losing to Kentucky 59-57. While the women’s side didn’t get nearly the same coverage, the Princeton team also punched its ticket to the tournament by winning the Ivy League crown. But once more, the Tigers failed to make it past the opening game, falling to fifth-seed Georgetown, 65-49.

The Ancient Eight didn’t fare much better in the NCAA Women’s Ice Hockey Championship. After second-seed Cornell slaughtered Dartmouth in the quarterfinals, 7-1, third-seed Boston University dealt the Big Red a resounding 4-1 loss on Friday.

While the men’s tournament has yet to start, Yale has a good chance to take it all for the first time in the school’s history. The one seed, the Bulldogs looked sharp in the ECAC tournament and are 27-6-1 on the year.

But now, on to spring. And already, we’ve had some exciting action.

This past weekend marked the beginning of Ivy League competition in men’s lacrosse. In the weekend’s biggest upset, No. 18 Penn trounced No. 11 Princeton, 8-3, marking the Quakers’ first victory over the Tigers since 1989. Princeton just couldn’t get anything going all game, thanks in large part to the play of Penn freshman defender Maxx Meyer, who earned Ivy League Rookie of the Week for his performance.

And the world of women’s lacrosse witnessed an upset of its own, as Cornell beat No. 14 Notre Dame in double OT, 6-5.

Penn continues to hold the upper hand in Ivy League women’s lacrosse, earning its 31st straight conference win after defeating Yale, 7-2, on Saturday.

While the baseball teams of the Ancient Eight have yet to meet, the Big Green have a pretty good shot to win it all for the third year in a row. With a pretty young team last year, Dartmouth returns many top players, including Kyle Hendricks who fanned 15 batters in seven innings last Friday against Army. No Dartmouth hurler has gotten that many K’s since Nixon was president.

If Harvard wants to knock off Dartmouth, the team has a lot of work to do after starting the season with a dismal 1-13 record.